Can all dogs really tolerate raw?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.


Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 12:03pm PST 
Asked a few months ago, I would have said resoundingly YES to that--they are made to digest it, they need the enzymes, etc. My Boston, Truman, has been on raw his whole life, weaned to it. His mom ate raw while pregnant, etc. When I got him home, I of course experimented at times with Orijen or the home-cooked stuff I was giving my senior retriever at the time (I then changed her to raw and it was AMAZING). He seemed to to better always on raw, and so after an initial time of testing, we were again on raw all the time.

At about 8-9 mos, he began developing skin issues. I thought it was allergies to the beef I was feeding (greentripe.com, grass-fed, hormone free, etc), so I tried different things like duck, turkey, buffalo, basically anything I could find; his skin stayed red regardless. The hives would get better or worse.

So I did a yeast cleanse--thinking that an antibiotic shot he had gotten when he was 9 months old may have triggered this skin deal. Did that for 4 months, not much change. Over the holidays, to preserve my sanity (small house, relatives visiting), I switched to Addiction. He cleared up some. Then last week, I decided to try him on Orijen Regional Red and Ziwipeak as we are selling our house--it has to remain immaculate and dog-smell free. Plus I have no time for raw. What do you know? He looks better on that than he has in months!!!

So I asked my best friend who is a holistic vet, and very raw-friendly, if she thought some dogs just can't handle raw. I'm thinking that maybe Truman just can't handle the extra bacteria load--I KNOW dog's GI tracts are acidic and are MADE for raw and bones, but what if his particular biochemistry isn't typical? She said it's totally possible--every dog's body is different just as every human is an individual.

Anyone hear of some dogs doing better on cooked rather than raw?? I hate to admit that it could be true because I so agree with feeding raw, but I'm seeing this in my dog!! I would never have believed it had I not seen it and fully expect to hear that I'm wrong, but what if??

Edited by author Mon Feb 1, '10 12:04pm PST


Small dogs can- have BIG jobs!
Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 12:09pm PST 
I think that your vet's explaination is an excellent one. While raw is great for many dogs, it is not optimal for ALL dogs. Some dogs have issues with it and do better on a different diet. One must feed the individual dog. wink My dog does very well with raw, but I know others whose owners have tried and tried and it just didn't work. There is no shame in that. In fact, I commend those who choose to feed the healthy diet that works best for their individual dog... whatever that may be.

Where can I run- today?
Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 12:11pm PST 
I agree with Byron. I feel that the true ratio of dogs out there that truly and absolutely can't handle raw is very low, but that's not to say they don't exist. In the wild they would have been "taken care of" via Natural Selection, but living as domesticated pets there are other options that allow dogs who would not have otherwise survived in the wild to pass down their genetics to live well.

Edited by author Mon Feb 1, '10 12:12pm PST



I have just met- you and I LOVE- you!
Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 1:04pm PST 
Just like with kibble, there is no one perfect dog food. I am all for raw, but all dogs don't do well on the same diet. They're each different just like people. Most dogs do well on raw, but that doesn't mean all dogs will. You have to do what works for you. Maybe keep the majority of his food Orijen/Ziwi Peak and just add in some RMB's and other raw goodies every now and then.
Phoebe, CGC

I'm a Brussel- Sprout!
Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 1:11pm PST 
Honestly, I think anything is possible. Is it probable? I doubt it. But possible - almost certainly, and Truman would certainly appear to have a good shot at being that one in a million, since he is a second generation raw fed dog that for whatever reason does not seem to be thriving on the diet. On the other hand, just to play devil's advocate, it's entirely possible, and even plausible to me, that the issues you are having with Truman now could have been the same or much worse, on a commercial diet.

I'm sure you probably have, but have you talked to your breeder about this, and what does he/she say? Has he/she provided you with a sample 'menu' of what Truman's mom and her housemates eat so you can compare it to what you were feeding?
Peter Parker

King Peter- Parker
Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 1:13pm PST 
I agree with the other posters, not ALL dogs do well on raw. Just like with people, we are all different and the same is true of our dogs, they are all different. Just because one does really well on raw doesn't mean the next one will respond the same to raw.

Running- ridiculously- fast is my- favorite
Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 1:35pm PST 
I'm in agreement with everyone else. I wish we could do 100% raw! We tried it for a while and part of it not working was most likely some human error, but aside from that, Sierra was vomiting ALL the time, not regurgitating, vomiting. But, she does great on 1/2 raw, 1/2 kibble - go figure. shrug

Barked: Mon Feb 1, '10 2:06pm PST 
Phoebe--I was feeding him exactly the same diet the breeder was (and I have his mom as my second dog)--products from greentripe.com. We've been in constant contact about this--we've tried to change his water to extremely filtered, minerals added waster because she's on a well. Marginal change. We've wracked our brains for possible causes, and haven't come up with anything. So frustrating. So that's why this is such a shock to me--I have avoided kibble or anything like that precisely because I wanted to keep his diet consistent with what the breeder fed!

Sure, I did try some premium kibbles (Orijen, Acana, Wellness), but they were never his main source of food. The closest he got to eating kibble regularly was for a week for breakfast when I was out of town and hubby was in charge.

So, yeah, I think he's one in a million, or so it seems. Or maybe what I'm seeing is how his body reacts to something new--it calms down. I'll know more in a week whether or not this change is long-term. It's just odd...